This week there was a meme posted on social media with an image of people were gathered around for a funeral. And the writing on the meme said, “We are gathered here today because your prayers didn’t work.” This meme was posted on the site of a person I know who had just lost a family member very dear to them. My heart was so heavy, and my sorrow only increased not knowing if their loved one knew the love of God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I just wanted to reach out there and hug them so much, and let them know how much I felt for them during this time.
Scripture: “Then he continued, ‘Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them’.” – Daniel 10:12
Many people today struggle to believe that God answers prayers. People pray, and then they don’t get the result that they were looking for, and then they throw everything out the window and give up on God because they think that prayer doesn’t work.
That’s like saying that a proper diet and exercise doesn’t work. We all know that it does work. It’s simple principle, simple math really that when we burn more calories than we eat, the result is that we lose weight. We also know that it takes more than a couple of days, or even a couple of weeks, to get the results that we are looking for. But through consistency and over time, results happen.
That is how it is with God. If we want God to work in our lives, it needs to be a two-way relationship. It can’t be just one way. This is simple enough for everyone to understand just applying the knowledge of basic human relationships. How long do relationships last where only one person is making an effort? How long are we willing to do things or want to even be around someone else who only takes and takes and takes, and never gives anything in return other than lack of appreciation, respect, or love?
God loves us unconditionally, and He is always there for his believers. But God does not promise anything to those who continually shun Him. God’s promises are for his believers, and for those who turn to Him and seek Him. How can we expect God to move in our lives and answer our prayers when we don’t genuinely seek Him, love Him, or even know Him?
Here’s the deal. God does answer our prayers. There is no doubt, no question. It is 100% guaranteed that God will answer our prayers when we seek Him first, and love Him with all of our heart, all our soul, all of our mind, and all of our strength. –(Luke 10:27). When we come to know the love of God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, we come to know that this is true. And while things may not always turn out the way that we want, we also learn that God’s ways are higher than our ways, and his plans are better than our plans. And we learn to trust in the Lord and praise Him all the more. And we learn to pray through the pain, and praise through the pain.
It doesn’t necessarily make the pain on our flesh and on our hearts any less real. We still hurt, we still cry, we still face trouble and struggle. But we can be encouraged and know that God is with us, and that there are better days ahead. We can be confident that since the first day we set our mind to gain understanding and to humble ourselves before our God, that our words are heard.
Even more, when we have no strength, God will give us strength. When we are so sad or so hurt that we can barely breathe, he will give lift us up. Continuing in the chapter 10 we read about Daniel who is so weakened that he can’t stand up, talk or even breathe. “How can I, your servant, talk with you, my lord? My strength is gone and I can hardly breathe.” – (Daniel 10:17). And in verse 19, the angel of the Lord strengthened Daniel, “Do not be afraid, you who are highly esteemed,” he said. “Peace! Be strong now; be strong.” When he spoke to me, I was strengthened and said, “Speak, my lord, since you have given me strength.” – (Daniel 10:19)
So when we pray, let us know without a doubt that God will hear us, strengthen us, and answer our prayers. And let us make sure that when God does answer, that we are listening!
How can we be sure that we can hear God’s voice? When in doubt what to do, always look to Jesus to see what he did. And while there are tons of instances where Jesus did this, but I think Luke chapter 5 best sums it up. “But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” – (Luke 5:16).
If we want to hear God, we need to spend time alone with him, away from the noise. We need some time with just God and us. Just like a spouse or significant other wants time alone with you and no one else. That is what God wants, time with just us. He just wants us. And one of the words that I don’t want to overlook is the word “often”. God wants to spend time with us often.
May you find comfort and peace in your time alone with God. May He lift your burdens, and comfort your heart. And may you be strengthened, lifted up, and encouraged at all times and in all places. And let us know that God is always with us, always hears us, and always answers our prayers.
Dear heavenly Father, thank you for your Word today. We ask that you be with those who are suffering Lord. We ask that you comfort those who are sad, strengthen those who are weak, guide those who are lost, and reveal yourself to those who may not know you. We know that everything good comes from you Lord, and anything that is not comes from the enemy who comes to steal, kill, and destroy. We turn to you Lord, and trust in you. You know our hearts. Nothing is hidden from you. Help us to seek you first Lord. Help us to hear your voice. Build our faith Lord. Forgive us of our sins. We know that you love us in spite of our faults, our failures, our shortcomings, and our weakness. We surrender to you Lord. Fill us with your Holy Spirit. Let your light shine in us, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Image courtesy of: atacamaki
Photo By atacamaki
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